Former death row inmate creates scholarship for attorney who freed him


Anthony Graves spent 18 years in prison, including 12 on death row, for a gruesome multiple murder he didn’t commit. Thanks to Nicole Casarez, a Houston attorney and journalism professor who spent eight years clearing his name, Graves was exonerated and awarded $1.45 million by the Texas Legislature in 2011. Graves wanted to do something for Casarez, but as he told Texas Monthly, “I knew she’d never accept money from me.” After consulting with her husband, Rueben, Graves came up with a generous honor for his “defender, friend, sister and angel” — a scholarship in law studies to the University of Texas, endowed in her name. Graves surprised her with the certificate for the scholarship among a gathering of her friends and family, a certificate significantly emblazoned with the quote, “Never underestimate the power of dedicated people working for good.”

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